Best Dishes #8: Ice Cream at The University Cafe

It’s been here since 1918 and it’s not going anywhere any time soon. The University Cafe is a throwback to when an influx of Italian immigrants led to a proliferation of Glasgow ice-cream parlours. The cafe’s enduring appeal is down to an idiosyncratic fusion of Italian and Glaswegian influences held together in a tiny Art Deco room with slim wood-lined booths.


Students depend on their hangover crushing meals like pie, beans and chips (£4.35) or macaroni and chips (£5.50) or half pizza and chips (£4.50). They sell a lot of chips.

Glaswegians of a certain vintage come here to remember date nights of the past or being brought in for a sweet treat as a kid.

While you will find basic sustenance and cups of tea when you visit, it should be remembered that, above all, this is the best place in Glasgow to order ice cream. You might want to move straight to dessert.

The ice cream itself is rich and super-sweet. It’s a reminder of a carefree past, a time before clean eating and paleo diets.

The dessert counter is over-loaded with all kinds of sugary concoctions that have fallen out of fashion.

A photo posted by Victoria Marr (@shopgirlbella) on

Owner Carlo Verrecchia makes ice cream to an old family recipe that has been passed down through the generations.

It is food to make you feel good and should be enjoyed with abandon.

One of the reasons this is the best place in Glasgow for ice cream is their tradition menu. There’s a cabinet beside the till that shows the classic selection.

You can choose from normal cone, a straight-forward 99 or go all out for a twin double 99 cone impossibly piled with vanilla ice-cream and a drizzle of that artificial looking raspberry sauce of yesteryear.


Then there’s the really impressive options ranging from a wafer (two scoops of ice-cream sandwiched between two thin wafer slices) up to a double nougat (the same as before but with two generous slabs of chocolate nougat added) – I’m told this was my gran’s favourite. Oh, and they do a banana split sundae!

Folk come here for a comforting serving of nostalgia.

The University Cafe has made generations of Glaswegians happy. They’ve a simple, distinctive, formula that is gloriously dated. We hope they never change.

A photo posted by Victoria Marr (@shopgirlbella) on

We are discovering Glasgowist’s 100 Best Dishes, in no particular order, as a showcase of what’s good to eat in this town right now.

Tweet your suggestions to @HelloGlasgowist or email

The University Cafe
87 Byres Rd, Glasgow G11 5HN
T:0141 339 5217

Center map